July 21, 1998
It is now clear that Bill Clinton will do just about anything and sacrifice just about anybody to save himself from criminal prosecution.(my emphasis) It is equally clear that Attorney General Janet Reno is so blinded by her desire to help her president evade justice that she has personally broken important federal laws.
Eleven judges (five of them Democrats) in three different federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have unanimously agreed that Secret Service agents must testify before the grand jury investigating alleged criminal behavior by the president. The speed of these rulings, their unanimity and their terse language suggest that the courts are fed up with bogus legal assertions litigated by the Clinton defense team.
The U.S. Court of Appeals wrote, "This court has ruled that the (protective) privilege does not exist; no judge on the court has even requested a vote." Judge Lawrence Silberman supplemented the full court's decision with a separate opinion that goes directly to the heart of the matter and drives a stake through it. He wrote: "The Attorney General is, in effect, acting as the president's counsel under the false guise of representing the United States, contrary to the whole purpose and structure of the Ethics in Government Act ... The Act. ... limits the options that the Attorney General can legally (and honorably) pursue. Litigating against the independent counsel is not one of them." (my emphasis)
Translation: When Janet Reno appointed Kenneth Starr as independent counsel, she transferred to him all her responsibilities and powers in matters relating to the criminal investigation of the president. From that point forward, he, not she, legally represents the United States in this investigation.
This freed Reno of a conflict of interest in investigating her own boss, Bill Clinton. However, when she filed the Secret Service case against the Independent Counsel, she reinvolved herself, thus violating the letter and the spirit of the independent counsel law. Silberman, however, expressed a sympathetic understanding of the illegal activities of Attorney General Reno and her staff: "I am mindful of the terrible political pressure and strains of conscience that bear upon senior appointees of the Justice Department when an independent counsel (or special prosecutor) is investigating the President of the United States. Those strains are surely exacerbated when the president's agents literally and figuratively "declare war" on the independent counsel (can it be said that the President of the United states has declared war on the United States?)"
Let's recognize the obvious: If Clinton had been honest and forthcoming, Secret Service agents would not now be testifying before the grand jury.(my emphasis) However, they are testifying and the question is, has the safety of the president been compromised?
We have been treated to a barrage of propaganda calculated to convince us that Clinton will surely be killed if agents are not hanging all over him all the time. In fact, the president routinely backs off his bodyguards for reasons that one would think are not worth it if his life is at risk. When he was posing for pictures on the Great Wall of China with Chelsea and Hillary, there wasn't a Secret Service agent in sight. And as I recall, when Bill and Hillary were dancing on the beach, a long range camera obviously had a bead on them, but there wasn't a bodyguard anywhere near them.
And where was the Secret Service when Clinton was rubbing shoulders in the White House with Mexican drug dealers, Chinese gun runners, Hong Kong hustlers and agents of the Chinese army?
Attorney General Reno's dereliction of duty is not confined to the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. Last November, FBI Director Louis Freeh wrote a 27-page memorandum to Reno. He sharply criticized her for failing to appoint an independent counsel to investigate credible evidence of illegal foreign contributions to the Democrat Party and to the Clinton/Gore re-election campaign.
Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson reported that in the memo, Freeh "pointed out that ... the FBI's investigation had led them to the highest levels of the White House, including the vice president and the president ... " According to Thompson, Freeh also said in the memo that "It is difficult to imagine a more compelling situation for appointing an independent counsel."
In one of many editorials criticizing Reno, the New York Times wrote, "The mystery is why any Attorney General would want his or her chief legacy to be the preservation of a cover up." (my emphasis) The Times also had words about the president: "Mr Clinton, the alleged beneficiary of Chinese money, has an obligation here that transcends whatever trouble an investigation would cause him... "
However, nothing seems to transcend Clinton's obligation to the preservation of his own sorry hide. He will prove once again that he is too much of a coward to answer the call of duty. (my emphasis)
Patrick J. Buchanan
July 21, 1998
"Of all the myths out of which the Republic was born ... none was more hopeful than the crowning myth of the Presidency -- that the people, in their shared wisdom, would be able to choose the best man to lead them. From this came a derivative myth -- that the Presidency ... would make noble any man who held its responsibility. The Office would burn the dross from his character; his duties would, by their very weight, make him a superior man ... "
So wrote Theodore H. White, famed chronicler of presidential campaigns. To White, Richard Nixon's "Breach of Faith" was that he destroyed the myth that held us together. Yet Nixon was less an architect of Watergate than a passive accomplice. He did not know about the break-in; he did not order it; he was appalled at its stupidity -- but he did approve of the plans of panicked aides, trying to cover up for dolts at the campaign.
In brief, Richard Nixon's involvement in Watergate came of misplaced loyalty. He was trying to protect his people. In Clinton's case, the reverse is true. His aides, to a man, were innocent of any culpability in this squalid Monicagate matter when it broke. It is Clinton who is dragging everyone in and everyone down. Nixon's aides brought him down; Clinton is bringing his own people down. (my emphasis)
To see Secret Service agents, men and women of honor, proud of their willingness to stand between the president and a gunman, forced to tattle on a president they protect is appalling. But full blame for this outrage rests with William Jefferson Clinton.
Lest we forget, Ken Starr's investigation was assigned to him by Janet Reno and three federal judges. His job? Find the answer to one question: Did the president attempt to fix a civil trial, in which he was accused of sexual misconduct, by committing serial perjury and conspiring with others to lie under oath?
The president knows the answer. But rather than call Starr over to the White House, rather than walk over to the grand jury, Clinton is dragging down his family, friends, lawyers, staff, Secret Service and anyone else who can serve as a temporary roadblock between himself and the truth. So that Bill Clinton will never have to face up to whether he and the little tart had a "relationship" he denied under oath, look at who and what is being sacrificed -- and soiled.
The president's humiliated wife is forced to make a fool of herself by acting as though the Monica mess is the work of "a vast right-wing conspiracy." Friend Vernon Jordan was forced to go to the edge of the law, perhaps over, to bail him out. Secret Service agents have been forced into grand juries to snitch on a president it is their sworn duty to defend.
White House aides, once part of one of the most impressive political teams this city has ever seen, are behaving like hacks, digging up dirt on Starr's people, shoveling it out on anyone and everyone who dares suggest the president is not telling the truth. What did Joe McCarthy ever do to Owen Lattimore to compare with what these thugs are doing to Ken Starr and Linda Tripp? Yet, the people disgracing themselves do not even themselves believe Clinton has told the truth. Lawyers, for whom White House service was to be a crowning moment, are on nightly TV, evading, dodging, dissembling like night-court shysters. They are destroying their own reputations, impugning their own integrity. Why? So that Bill Clinton will never have to be held accountable for what he did. (my emphasis)
Consider how far we have come. In August of 1974, when Nixon's aides at Camp David learned the tapes showed he had not been telling the truth about Watergate, to a man they said he must resign. A president cannot break faith with his people and ask his people to trust him again.
But Clinton's defenders assure us that even if he committed perjury, even if he lied flagrantly to the American people, it is of no consequence because it was, after all, "only about sex." But perjury is a felony punishable by prison, and loss of voting rights and the right to hold public office. Are presidents above this law?
Do not let sunlight in upon magic, Bagehot warned. It was the "expletives deleted" of Nixon's tapes that finally snapped the bonds between him and his people. Yet the Tripp tapes apparently make Nixon's sound like a recording of high tea at Buckingham Palace.
Understandably, Clinton's partisans do not want to lose, do not want their right-wing enemies gloating over their defeat. But they ought to ask themselves: Is it worth sacrificing their own integrity to prevent the truth from coming out about Bill Clinton? (my emphasis)
In his long legal siege, President Clinton has twice stepped forward to testify under oath.
Since then, independent counsel Kenneth Starr has invited him six times to come forward and testify under oath before a grand jury about his reputed non-sexual sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Six times, the president has adamantly and steadfastly refused to do so. (my emphasis)
The big question all Americans should be asking themselves is: Why?
Why would the president, who has publicly denied having a sexual relationship with the former White House intern, who has pledged to tell the people more rather than less, sooner rather than later, flat-out refuse to go to the grand jury and just tell the story?
The answer is self-evident. More than anything that has gone before, the Lewinsky matter is a potential presidential time bomb. The clock is ticking. Or, as they say at the track, it's post time!
The Clinton presidency is unraveling. There are signs and sounds everywhere.
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the Republican head of the Judiciary Committee, put it bluntly on a Sunday TV talk show when he said, "If Ken Starr cannot get an agreement with Monica Lewinsky's attorneys to testify, he ought to indict her, list the president as an unindicted co-conspirator and then subpoena the president.
"And if he doesn't come in, it will be a very serious problem." That's just the legal nightmare. Then there's the legislative.
"In all my years in government, I cannot remember a time, except during the final months of the Watergate tragedy, when the president of the U.S. was so disengaged, so persistently removed from the work of the Congress, whatever the reason," Senate Majority Leader Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said. "President Clinton has chosen to become a bystander to the hard work of advancing the nation's business." These days, Clinton is either out of town, out of the country, being ceremonial, playing tourist or, as Lott put it, "flinging out executive orders before going away again."
Then there is the president's political erosion. None other than Rep. Barney Frank, the president's shameless Massachusetts flunky, has finally reached the conclusion that Bill Clinton has run his course. "He was an essentially transitional figure," Frank told the New Republic. "At this point, Bill Clinton is history from my standpoint, literally and figuratively ... "Bill Clinton's political future is not relevant to the Democratic Party."
So, the president's legal, governing and political positions are deteriorating by the day. Finally, there is his private life, which surely has crumbled. Despite the brave face in China, no marriage or family could possibly withstand the unrelenting battering the Clinton family has absorbed through the president's personal conduct. It has gone on, month after month, year after year.
No one should write Clinton off easily - he has incredible cunning and staying power - but more and more it looks like when, rather than if, he goes. Hatch believes Starr will deliver his report on all these scandals to the Congress before the end of the year, if not before the November elections. This case, as Hatch keeps hammering, is not about sex. "The American people don't care about that," he said. "But they do care whether a president has suborned perjury, committed perjury, caused others to commit perjury, obstructed justice or was part of a conspiracy to do all those things."
Clinton dare not go before a grand jury before he knows what is on those 20 hours of tape that Linda Tripp compiled from her conversations with Monica Lewinsky. So he's going to stonewall, dodge the appointment with destiny and try to keep gulling the public with how much he wants to tell the truth sooner than later. (my emphasis)
If Starr eventually indicts Lewinsky - and Hatch says it is not only politically feasible, but probably desirable and inevitable - then Bubba Clinton's days may be numbered. His best hope is to destroy Linda Tripp. The White House's hired guns have mounted a furious assault to undermine her credibility and depict her as a traitor who betrayed her good friend Monica Lewinsky by secretly taping their conversations. That's basic White House lying. The tapes will almost certainly show that Lewinsky was attempting to persuade Tripp to commit perjury, to commit a crime, and thereby place her in terrible jeopardy. Some friend, Monica Lewinsky. What would you do in Linda Tripp's shoes?
It all leaves President Clinton in grave danger. Even Barney Frank said that if Starr subpoenas the president, the president must obey. Most telling of all, Judge Abner Mikva, former White House counsel, rabid leftist and great defender of Bill Clinton, when asked whether Clinton should be thrown out of office if he committed perjury, replied, "Yes."
A president may dally, but he cannot commit perjury. That's the end.
In a perfect world, presidents of the United States would be honest, forthright, decent, moral and law-abiding. We do not live in a perfect world.
In a perfect world, when independent counsels are called upon to investigate allegations of possible illegal misdeeds by presidents and other high officials, they would be dependable, diligent, fair-minded and close-mouthed. We do not live in a perfect world.
President Bill Clinton, by his long record of personal misconduct, has reflected shamefully upon the presidency of the United States. Called into question, he has deceitfully promised full cooperation for factual revelation, and then has embarked upon the most determined and most effective stonewalling campaign in modern politics.
Part of Mr. Clinton's defensive effort has been an artfully orchestrated campaign of attack upon Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. Mr. Clinton has sought to make Judge Starr the defendant to divert attention from the investigation of the conduct of Mr. Clinton.
Judge Starr, seeking to counter the disinformation campaign against him by unprincipled attackers, has said too much, we believe. As painful as it may have been, he should have maintained absolute silence until his probe was over, letting its report speak for itself.
The issue of what Judge Starr and his associates have said and haven't said is currently being spotlighted because Steven Brill, who contributed $1,000 to President Clinton's 1996 campaign and $6,000 to Democratic Senate and House campaigns since 1993, has issued the first copy of his new magazine, Brill's Content, with a story for which Judge Starr ill-advisedly gave an interview. Because of quotes in the story, which Judge Starr says were taken out of context, the conductors of the Clinton smear campaign are charging that Judge Starr violated law protecting grand jury secrecy.
Judge Starr said: "We released information about the circumstances surrounding the initial interview of Ms. (Monica) Lewinsky, but not the substance of the interview.' He said the information amounted to "timely disclosure' and was "entirely appropriate.'
Release of grand jury testimony by other than the witnesses themselves is improper. Judge Starr says he and his associates did not disclose grand-jury evidence. He says they gave briefings about the investigation "on background' to reporters.
Judge Starr declared: "Let me be clear. The OIC (Office of Independent Counsel) does not release grand jury material directly or indirectly, on the record or off the record; the OIC does not violate Department of Justice policy or applicable ethical guidelines and the OIC does not release (and never has released) information provided by a witness during witness interviews except as authorized by law.'
If Judge Starr had been less naive while under smear attack from the White House, he would have avoided anything that could even have permitted the question to be raised.
U.S. District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson called prosecutors from Judge Starr's office, White House Counsel Charles Ruff, personal Clinton attorney David Kendall and three lawyers for Miss Lewinsky into a half-hour closed-door and off-the-record conference yesterday.
If there is evidence, rather than only shrill cries, that Judge Starr has acted improperly, Mr. Clinton's Attorney General Janet Reno has the power to fire him. More to the point, the president and his henchmen should quit contriving all sorts of delaying tactics. They should cooperate with the Office of Independent Counsel by encouraging honest testimony under oath by all pertinent witnesses. Then they should let the investigation be concluded with factual disclosure.
Instead, the obfuscation and the charges and countercharges continue to obstruct investigation and revelation.
Innocence requires no such defense.
09 JUN 98 - The last six months have exposed the Global Economy as a vast poker game that can never end. When one player, because of bad cards, bad luck or badly played hands, loses all his chips, the "house" hands him another stack. So the game goes on. For if the players ever call it a night, they will discover there are 10 times as many chips on the table as there is cash to back them up.
Last fall, the International Monetary Fund rushed $117 billion in fresh chips to South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand. Wise men know we will never see that money again. With their currencies collapsed, these Asian economies are probably only half as large, in dollar value, as they were months ago. And now, they are billions of dollars deeper in debt. Yet the game must go on. Why? Because if we admitted that Indonesia was bust, that it can never pay back its loans and that these debts must be written down or written off --then U.S., European and especially Japanese banks would have to declare huge losses.
Though swamped with debt, these regimes cannot be allowed to do what normal bankrupts do, i.e., default, for that would expose the bankruptcy of their Western creditors. As Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin can tell you, too much truth can be a bad thing for markets built on myths.
But Russia's crisis may be our day of reckoning. Moscow is sunk in debt. Tens of billions of dollars of it comes due in 1998. The money is not there to pay it. Another bailout of Russia is needed, or Moscow goes belly up and defaults.
Last week, however, Russia's chief financial officer, Venianin Sokolov, said that all the previous IMF billions pumped into Russia have been lost, wasted or stolen "at the highest levels" of Boris Yeltsin's government, which he calls an "entirely corrupt regime." It "consciously and deliberately blocks efforts to get at the truth," says Sokolov of the thievery. Foreign loans are nothing but a "fix" for a "dope addict." For the good of Russia, they must stop.
Brave man, Sokolov. Cut to the GOP Congress. Does it have the same courage to expose this fraud? Does it have the courage to say no more tax dollars to the IMF to bail out corrupt regimes, so they can continue trickling payments to Western creditors, and the creditors can maintain the falsehood that their loans are good?
Clinton's men are desperate to keep the poker game going. They do not want a global collapse on their watch. So, the White House last week issued this remarkable statement: "The president wanted to underscore the fact that the United States has no doubts about the underlying strength of the fundamentals of the Russian economy." Did Mike McCurry say that with a straight face?
Why would Republicans even think of throwing half of 1999's surplus down an IMF rat hole, into a Russian regime even its chief financial officer says is shot through with larceny and corruption?
Answer: Fear -- fear of what will happen in Russia if we stop paying extortion money, fear of what comes after Yeltsin if we don't bail him out, fear of Western banks going under if the truth is known that Russia's debt is never going to be paid back.
The big stick Clinton and Rubin hold over Republicans is this threat: If you don't hand over the IMF money and Russia or the Global Economy collapses, we're going to blame you for the crash!
But if Congress forks over the $18 billion, and the IMF bails out Russia again, we but postpone the moment of truth and deepen the eventual crash and cleanup. Consider how our ensnarement in this fraudulent Global Economy now ties America's hands.
We cannot sanction Pakistan for firing nuclear weapons, else Pakistan will default on its $32 billion in foreign debt, and American taxpayers will have to pay off Pakistan's World Bank loans.
We cannot sanction China for shipping nuclear and missile technology to Iran and Pakistan because that would force China to devalue its currency. Hong Kong would follow, triggering another round of Asian devaluations, forcing even larger IMF-World Bank bailouts, subsidized by the American taxpayer. If Vladimir Zhirinovsky comes to power in Russia and decides to discipline Latvia, what do we do? Can we threaten U.S.-NATO military action against a nation the White House is terrified may default on its debts and ignite a global depression?
The Global Economy is America's straitjacket.
The debtor-nations have discovered that we are more terrified of their defaults than they are. The Global Economy is a honey trap. We are ensnared and going down with it unless the GOP has the guts to defund the IMF and expose how worthless these foreign debts really are. It is a time for courage and a time for truth.
Bruce Lindsey usually works behind the scenes. Bill Clinton trusts him because he's quiet, resourceful and knows how to fix problems. And that's exactly why the White House is fighting so hard to keep him out of court. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr wants to know what the deputy White House counsel knew about Bill Clinton's alleged dalliance with then-intern Monica Lewinsky and when he knew it.
The issue? Lindsey debriefed grand jury witnesses in Starr's probe and talked strategy with their lawyers. Starr wants to know whether those debriefings crossed the line into subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice. Lindsey won't say. And the White House is backing him 100%.
At first, the administration claimed the conversations were protected under executive privilege. But U.S. District Court Judge Norma Holloway Johnson thought differently. She ruled last month that Starr's need for Lindsey's testimony outweighed any such claim. Now the stonewallers at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. say Lindsey is really covered by the attorney-client privilege. But that won't hold up, either. Lindsey is the deputy White House counsel. He serves the office of the president. In other words, he works for the American people, not the man in the Oval Office.
Lindsey is in an interesting position. He could vindicate the president. Or he could bury him. Neither is likely. Although Lindsey has a history of being deeply involved in Clinton's damage control efforts, he's loyal and keeps his mouth shut. Lindsey is another of those people whose memory tends to fade under the interrogator's hot lights. Just look at Lindsey's deposition last year to Senate Governmental Affairs Committee lawyers. His 246-page sworn statement is a sea of ''I can't recalls'' and ''not to my recollections.'' Strangely, though, he was able to describe in minute detail internal White House operations and other such trivia.
With a memory that choosy, Lindsey is either incompetent or lying. His record in the Clinton camp suggests the latter. And his friendship with Clinton goes back 30 years. In just the last five years, Lindsey has had a hand in almost every scandal touching this White House. Lindsey helped arrange - at Clinton's behest - John Huang's move from the Commerce Department to a fund-raising perch at the Democratic National Committee. Huang is a key player in the alleged plot by Communist China to subvert the '96 presidential elections. Lindsey kept tabs on convicted felon and Arkansas friend Webster Hubbell. Lindsey's contacts with Hubbell, say published reports, took place after Hubbell pleaded guilty to defrauding clients in '94. We now know from prison phone call recordings that Hubbell's wife, Suzy, felt pressure from other White House minions.
Lindsey acted as the White House's information sponge on press inquiries into the Resolution Trust Corp.'s criminal referrals that named the First Couple, writes reporter James Stewart in ''Blood Sport.'' The White House's knowledge of those referrals led to Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman's ouster in '94. Starr named Lindsey as an unindicted co-conspirator in campaign finance charges stemming from the '92 election.
Those are just for starters. Lindsey knows where the bodies are buried. But will he tell? Even the president's most ardent backers doubt Lindsey can hold out forever. If White House stewards, Lewinsky's mother and Sidney Blumenthal must testify, so must Lindsey.
Of course, there's always the possibility of a pardon. But even he can't count on it. Bill Clinton is notorious for deserting people who lent him a hand when they're no longer useful. Lindsey's memory is the one thing the deputy White House counsel can count on.(My emphasis) It's up to Starr and the courts to force the truth from this all-too-reluctant witness.
By DON FEDER The Boston Herald; EDITORIAL; Pg. 031 May 27, 1998 Wednesday
I'm not particularly proud of it. Nevertheless, I must confess, I am a Clinton- hater. Hatred is one of the least attractive human emotions. In my defense, Clinton is really the first president I've felt this way about. I didn't hate Jimmy Carter, a pathetic incompetent who brought us to the nadir of American prestige abroad. And I didn't hate George Bush, whose rudderless administration paved the way for the Age of Lewinsky. I didn't even hate Lyndon Johnson, who wasted American lives by tying the military's hands in Vietnam and inflicted the Great Society on us. All were well-meaning, albeit inept, vain and ultimately clueless.
Clinton I hate. Politics aside, I find our 42nd president inadequate as a human being. It takes incredible credulity to believe that 32 visits to the Oval Office by a 21-year-old intern, after she'd left the White House, were innocent and that gifts exchanged, phone calls made and jobs solicited were routine. Clinton's sexual excesses mark him as little more than a bundle of hormones with an expensive haircut.
Similarly, only the most trusting soul could imagine that there's no connection between $ 421,000 in campaign contributions from an aerospace executive and the administration rubber-stamping efforts to upgrade the Chinese Long March missile.
Other than Henry Waxman, Clinton's pit poodle in the House, does anyone really think that cash from operators like Johnny Chung, James Riady and Charlie Trie (Chung says he got $ 300,000 from Lui Chao-ying, a Chinese army colonel, to grease the White House) had nothing to do with technology transfers to China? Did Clinton lobby Long Beach, Calif., officials to lease a vacant naval base to the Chinese merchant marine just for the heck of it? Sad to say, we've reached the point where the commander-in-chief probably shouldn't have a security clearance.
I hate the other instances of Clintonian corruption, as well: Whitewater loans, Hillary's suspicious killing in the commodities market and laundered campaign contributions from Little Rock days. Much as I despise Clinton's venality, I find his posturing positively sickening - his sanctimonious moralizing, his desperate need to appear compassionate, his grandstanding on teen smoking (while he bungles the war on drugs), his theatrical tears and show-offy hugs.
I hate the man's hypocrisy, his carte-blanche support for abortion (even a procedure as hideous as partial-birth abortion), while promising to make the procedure "safe, legal and rare." For sheer obnoxiousness, this is equaled only by his racial-quotas plea ("mend it, don't end it"), when his only interest here is maintaining a gross injustice for political expediency.
It's difficult to say what's more worthy of disdain, his foreign or domestic policies. On the domestic front, there are his lies about the soundness of Social Security, his stealth defense of big government (reflected in his refusal to cut taxes in the face of budget surpluses) and his opposition to reforms, from term limitation to school choice.
Last week, he vetoed a bill to provide 2,000 scholarships for students from low-income families in the District of Columbia. While professing his concern for the disadvantaged, he opposes giving them the opportunity his own daughter Chelsea had.
I loathe his appointments; the corrupt (Ron Brown, Mike Espy, etc.), the ideological (Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala - politically correct from condoms to needles) and the absurd (former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, Hugh Hefner with a stethoscope). For the federal bench, he has tapped a gang of activists who will be reading their ideology into the Constitution for decades to come.
In foreign affairs, Clinton has established lethal precedents, turning the army he scorned during Vietnam into a social-service agency (witness Haiti and Bosnia), while undermining military preparedness by feminizing the armed forces. He bullies our only friend in the Middle East and embraces a thug who belongs on the gallows. He seeks sanctions against benign India, while approving the transfer of missile technology to malignant China.
Above all, I hate Clinton for demeaning the presidency more than any of his predecessors. I hate him for taking an office occupied by giants like Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, and turning it into a combination singles bar and advance outpost for the People's Liberation Army. (My emphasis)
I'm sorry to be reduced to this uncharitable emotion, and sorrier still to have a president who rightly arouses the sentiment.
What did Newt Gingrich say that so infuriated Democrats that a number of them walked out during his speech to the New Hampshire Legislature?
He said several things. He said that Webster Hubbell, between resigning as a high level attorney in the Justice Department and going to jail, received "$720,000 from 18 different sources, including $100,000 from Indonesians."
He said that the president, as the chief law-enforcement officer of the country, should do more to help uncover violations of the law in his own administration. He said that "if a crime has been committed, the American people have a right to know. It's not enough to be passive."
Only about 20 of the 155 Democrats in the New Hampshire Legislature left in protest. Seeing them leave, Gingrich remarked, "Let me just say how sad I am about the people who just walked out." After the meeting, Rep. Peter Burling said that Gingrich had "unceremoniously attacked, in the most partisan way, the head of my party and the heart of my party."
Now, that is really sad. It is one thing for Democrats to view the truth as embarrassing. It is another to view it as mean-spirited and its messenger as partisan. Truly, the politically motivated, blind and deaf loyalty to Bill Clinton is not only sad to behold, it is hard to understand.
Since Bill Clinton became the head and heart of the Democratic Party in 1992, Democrats have lost control of the U.S. House of Representative and the U.S. Senate. They have lost 14 governorships, 21 state legislative chambers and 500 legislative seats across the country. Over 75 percent of the American people now live in states with Republican governors.
Since Bill Clinton became the head and heart of their party, over 370 elected Democrats have switched to the Republican Party, including five congressional representatives and two senators. (My emphasis)
Shortly before he went to New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich gave a speech during which he broke a long silence on the criminal investigations of the Clinton administration. He said the turning point for him was when Democrats on the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee voted 19-to-0 against granting immunity to four key witnesses who could shed light on illegal foreign contributions to the Democratic Party. Gingrich said he was "stunned" by what he considered a 19-to-0 vote for a cover-up.
Gingrich reminds us that when the Iran-Contra investigation began, Ronald Reagan waived executive privilege and ordered his staff and aides to testify fully and withhold nothing. (My emphasis) He reminds us that during Watergate, Republicans such as Howard Baker put their country first. In stark contrast, not once has President Clinton directed or encouraged his staff, his aides, his lawyers, his friends or any others to step forward and tell the truth.
"Human Events," a weekly news publication, identifies over 90 people who have avoided cooperation with congressional committees investigating illegal contributions from foreign sources. Fifty-three witnesses called before committees in the House and Senate have invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination, 21 potential witnesses have fled the country, and 18 foreign witnesses have refused to cooperate with or talk to congressional investigators. Clinton has not led these people toward the truth. He has led them in a massive march away from it.
Our insight deepens as to why Gingrich used the word "sad" in New Hampshire: He saw fellow Americans, who happened to be Democrats, walking out on the truth.
At a recent presidential press conference, liberal bulldog Sam Donaldson asked this question: "Mr. President ... you deny wrongdoing, I understand, but as a standard for presidents, what do you think -- does it matter what you do in private moments, as alleged? And, particularly, does it matter if you have committed perjury or in any other sense broken the law?" A wall of stone descended, and in the middle of a muddled non-answer, the president of the United States, perhaps inadvertently, made this confession: "I think that I am, in some ways, the last person who needs to be having a national conversation about this."
It was not a pleasure to watch the president of the United States at this news conference time and again assert his right to remain silent for fear of self-incrimination. It becomes more and more clear that all the extraordinary efforts of independent counsel Kenneth Starr to find the truth have been made necessary by the extraordinary efforts of Bill and Hillary Clinton to hide it.
Only two presidents in the 20th century invoked executive privilege to block an investigation of their own alleged criminal wrongdoing. They would, of course, be Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon and William "I am not Nixon" Clinton.
It is sad.
It's time to redirect anger with the tobacco companies to the bill the Senate Commerce Committee passed 12 days ago. In its rush to punish the tobacco industry, the panel has thumbed its nose at the Constitution - and at individual liberty. Forget they're tobacco companies for a moment. It would also help to forget for a moment that this is the U.S. Imagine instead that we've moved back in time to the Soviet Union. That's a better framework to understand what's happening in the Senate. The government has all but declared a group of legal businesses an enemy of the state. A group of legal businesses has been all but been declared an enemy of the state. For that, comrade, a high price will be paid. It starts with firms signing away their constitutional rights in consent decrees inked with the states. The bill's authors, including the normally sensible John McCain, R-Ariz., have written in exceptions to the Constitution that they hope companies will ''agree'' to. Then firms will be forced to fork over more than half a trillion dollars to the government during the next 25 years. And the government will limit the firms' marketing it says they employ to induce kids to use this product, which is legal for adults to use. The dictates continue. If kids don't cut their use of this product by at least 60% over the next decade, the companies will be held responsible for that, too - and will have to shell out up to $3.5 billion more per year. And like most Soviet-style schemes, this one works at cross-purposes. The government can't wait to get its hands on the companies' money. So it can't punish the companies to the point of bankruptcy. (My emphasis)
This is the U.S. Senate talking, not the Politburo. The popular term for all this is a ''deal.'' It's no such thing. A deal did once exist. Last summer, the industry and 40 state attorneys general gave Congress a plan for a $368.5 billion payout by the companies in exchange for a shield from further lawsuits. The industry did the math and figured that the money was worth the lawsuit immunity.
But for the Senate, $368.5 billion wasn't punishment enough. The Senate regarded the accord as a starting point. ''The tobacco bill approved by the Senate Commerce Committee by a vote of 19 to 1 was never intended to be a 'deal' with the industry,'' McCain said. And a deal it won't be. The nation's four major tobacco firms said Wednesday they would oppose the half-trillion-dollar fine and the limits on their liberty, especially since virtually no lawsuit shields are in the bill.
As much as we believe smoking should be discouraged, this bill is not the way to do it. And we're letting the Constitution guide us.
First Amendment. We think the industry made a crucial mistake last year when it agreed to give up its free-speech rights in advertising. While courts have been less generous toward commercial speech than political speech, it is still protected under the Constitution. The measure also forces the Tobacco Institute and Council for Tobacco Research - both industry arms - to disband. Funny, the First Amendment we read guarantees the right to peaceable assembly.
Fourth Amendment. In our eyes, the bill's creation of a national depository of tobacco company documents violates the spirit of the Fourth Amendment's guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures. A court order for particular papers may be one thing, but lawmakers' demands for nearly everything from here into the future is another matter altogether.
Eighth Amendment. A case can be made that the penalties imposed amount to violating the Eighth Amendment bar on ''excessive fines imposed.'' While this amendment usually pertains to penalties imposed by the judiciary, the legislative branch's judge-and-jury role here smacks of something else the Founding Fathers abhorred and banned: bills of attainder. Such measures are forbidden because they single out parties for punishment through legislation.
Beyond the Constitution, this bill bans the use of taxpayer funds to combat barriers other countries may erect against U.S. tobacco. So even though the product is legal and exportable, the U.S. government would not fight unfair trade limits against it.
Of course, the entire package is a tax increase passed on to lawful, adult smokers. Under the $516 billion Senate bill, taxes on cigarettes will rise another $1.10 a pack over five years. What about the spending side? Would the revenue reimburse states for treating sick smokers? Some of it. Would money be spent on nonsmoking-related programs? Certainly. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., already has won the right to reserve funds for spending on child care. Only a weak sense-of-the-Senate resolution directs where the rest of the funds go.
But it's not clear all the programs to curb teen-age smoking that are funded in the bill will work. The youth of America have been lighting up in ever higher numbers in recent years. That shows that government has little real say over personal choices - even bad ones.
Spreading the anti-smoking gospel is commendable. Trampling on the Constitution is not.
That is the inherent beauty of our system of Constitutional governance. The very thought of free men pursuing life, liberty and happiness, unfettered by the bonds of servitude brings a swell of unbridled joy to my soul. Those days are disappearing in America. We have espoused a system far different from that intended by our forefathers, and we have done it in the name of compassionate compromise.
In the name of compassion, we have created governmental systems which seize the fruits of our labors, for redistribution. (My emphasis) Systems like welfare, food stamps, medicare, medicaid, farm subsidies, corporate subsidies, government grants, even social security, however well intentioned, are the downfall of any nation. In the name of compassion we have enslaved the contributors of these programs. In the name of compassion we have enslaved even the "beneficiaries" of these programs.
Generations of American citizens have grown up robbed of the ability to stand as free self-reliant men. These citizens are addicted to the opiate of "public assistance". An opiate just as dangerous if not more so than any narcotic. A narcotic may rob you of your senses, but public assistance addiction steals your very soul. And what of the providers of this money. They are truly enslaved to the receiver constituency. Liberal politicians have created a voter base, addicted to this cash cow. They manipulate this base with the tools of fear, and the idea that self-reliance is not attainable. These manipulators are truly loathsome creatures. Liberals are not alone however, they are joined in their efforts by Republican politicians as well. When I hear members of this forum speak of the conservative movement as if it differed substantially, I have to ask how.
How is Republican politics any less responsible for this bastardization of the Constitution? They may be less passionate in their support of this trash, but support it they do. In the name of compassion, and in the name of compromise.
The next time you rush to defend Republican Leaders for their failure to condemn or denounce the current administration. The next time you feel compelled to say "He's biding his time".... "He's playing the game".... "Its not yet time for the truth"... Think about what game playing, and failure to speak the truth (however unpopular), and even compassionate compromise has done to our once proud land.
Winston Churchill - "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty...never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."
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